Review: ‘Pleasantville’ has gripping, believable plot

Written by OLINE H. COGDILL,
AP writer
Thursday, 23 April 2015 02:35

The compelling “Pleasantville” continues Attica Locke’s insightful look at African-American life in Houston, where politics, race and classism converge in myriad ways.

Locke sets her third novel in Pleasantville, a Houston neighborhood that was built after World War II specifically for black families “of means and class.” But this new black middle class also began to wield “unexpected political power” as the community became “a bargaining chip to politicians.”

Sad Puppies vs. Rabid Puppies:
Hugo Awards reflect sci-fi/fantasy divide

AP National Writer
Monday, 20 April 2015 08:16

Call it the invasion of the Sad Puppies.

One of the signature awards of the science fiction/fantasy community, the Hugos, has been ensnared in a fierce debate over the genre’s future, with charges of political correctness and elitism and countercharges of bigotry and dishonesty.

'The Poser' is darkly funny

Associated Press writer
Wednesday, 08 April 2015 05:53

The central character in Jacob Rubin's "The Poser" is a young man with the ability to instantaneously and flawlessly imitate anyone.

Encouraged by his mother and discovered by a hack agent, Giovanni Bernini goes from being ridiculed and, often, feared by his small-town peers to garnering widespread acclaim as The World's Greatest Impressionist. The rest of his arc of fame follows a trajectory at which cynics will knowingly nod, and Rubin's precise and inventive writing wonderfully captures the enigmatic character as he travels this arc as well as the philosophical questions such a character raises.

Erdrich wins Library of Congress fiction prize

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 19 March 2015 07:17

Novelist Louise Erdrich will be honored with the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction this year.

Erdrich is the author of such acclaimed novels as "Love Medicine," "The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse," "The Plague of Doves" and her current novel, "The Round House."

A colorful account of the birth of modern art in Paris

Written by ANN LEVIN,
AP writer
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 19:30

At the dawn of the 20th century the Parisian district of Montmartre was still largely rural, a hillside village dotted with windmills, vineyards and tumbledown shacks.

There, a ragtag band of young artists, many of them foreigners, gravitated to the district’s cheap studios and galleries to nurture their artistic ambitions and, at night, divert themselves at its seedy bars and cabarets.

Nickolas Butler brings literary success stories back to Wisconsin

Written by Maddy Hughes,
Contributing writer
Sunday, 12 April 2015 06:48

Nickolas Butler was inspired to write Shotgun Lovesongswhile homesick for his family in Wisconsin.
— PHOTO: Olive Juice Studios

"Shotgun Lovesongs," Wisconsin native Nickolas Butler’s debut novel, has become a breakout success for the author since its publication in March. The book tells the story of five friends who came of age in a tiny Wisconsin town. They reunite for a wedding and must confront each other’s adult selves.

On the best-seller list
April 7, 2015

Written by The AP Tuesday, 07 April 2015 05:45

Dead Wake by Erik Larson.


Review: Dennis Lehane writes gripping finale to crime trilogy

Written by OLINE H. COGDILL,
Associated Press writer
Sunday, 15 March 2015 11:23

Dennis Lehane’s thrilling trilogy about organized crime in the early 20th century is more than a look at gangsters and their ways. Without glorifying the illegal, Lehane’s “World Gone By” examines how crime works on one’s soul and what it means to know that the life you’ve chosen must give way to the next breed of criminals in this, the gripping finale.

“World Gone By” is also a textbook guide on how to end a series as Lehane smoothly guides his characters and plot to a smooth finish in this series that began with “The Given Day” (2008).

Tom Stoppard calls it a ‘frightening time’ for free speech

Written by MARK KENNEDY,
AP Drama Writer
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 16:25

Playwright Tom Stoppard said he will accept PEN’s highest award next month in New York to help put a spotlight on a “frightening time” for free expression.

Stoppard is to accept the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American chapter of the global human-rights organization of writers and editors.

Recommended reading, Earth Day the beginnings

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Saturday, 11 April 2015 13:37

Adam Rome’s "The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation" tells the story of how the first Earth Day in 1970 proved a transformative, monumental event.

And Wisconsin figures prominently in the story.

HarperCollins reveals cover for Harper Lee's new novel

Written by The AP Wednesday, 01 April 2015 06:53

The cover for Harper Lee's new novel will surely remind you of the cover for her old one.

HarperCollins has unveiled the jacket art for Lee's "Go Set a Watchman," the unexpected follow-up to her classic "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Chazen to show prized Shakespeare folio

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 14 March 2015 13:27

One of the most prized books in the world — the very first collection of William Shakespeare’s plays — is coming to Wisconsin. UW–Madison's Chazen Museum of Art has announced that First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, a national traveling exhibition, will visit Madison in 2016.

The tour marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and the exhibit at the Chazen will be the only showing in the state.